Ministry of Justice

B.C.'s Prosecution Service

The Vision - Courageous, Fair and Efficient – a Prosecution Service that has the confidence of the public

As an integral part of the Ministry of Justice, the Criminal Justice Branch will deliver on its core responsibilities in a manner that safeguards prosecutorial independence, and supports an effective justice system through communication, collaborative effort and innovation. The Branch’s core responsibilities include: (1) approving and conducting criminal and regulatory prosecutions; (2) initiating and responding to appeals; (3) providing criminal law advice to government; (4) developing policies and procedures on the administration of criminal justice; (5) liaising with the media and the public on prosecution matters; and (6) any other function or responsibility assigned to the Branch by the Attorney General.

Prosecution files are managed as one part of the overall criminal justice system:

Diagram of the criminal justice process

Independence of Crown Counsel

As mandated under the Crown Counsel Act, Crown counsel make their prosecutorial decisions independent of any outside influence.

Media Statements

January 18, 2016

Criminal Justice Branch Releases Public Report on Riot Prosecutions
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (the Branch), Ministry of Justice, released a detailed report on the prosecutions resulting from the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver.

December 22, 2015

No Charges Approved in IIO Investigation of Arrest in Port Moody
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved against members of the Vancouver Police Department involved in the arrest of a robbery suspect in Port Moody on September 16, 2014.

November 25, 2015

Appointment of Special Prosecutor
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that Mark R. Jetté has been appointed as a Special Prosecutor to provide legal advice to the R.C.M.P. in relation to an investigation arising out of Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's recent report to government.

November 25, 2015

No Charges Approved in Yaletown/Science World Shooting Incident
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved against any police officers involved in an incident in Vancouver on June 10, 2014 in which a suspect was shot during an exchange of gunfire with members of the Vancouver Police Department.

November 23, 2015

No Charges Approved in Chilliwack Case Involving Fall
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved against any police officers involved in an incident in Chilliwack on August 5, 2014 in which an individual suffered injuries when he tumbled down a steep embankment.

November 19, 2015

Special Prosecutor Withdraws from Case
Victoria - On November 19, 2015, the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that Greg DelBigio, QC was appointed as a Special Prosecutor to provide legal advice to the R.C.M.P.… out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the importance of safeguarding the perceived and actual integrity of the investigation and prosecution process, Mr. DelBigio has decided to withdraw from his appointment as Special Prosecutor.

November 19, 2015

Appointment of Special Prosecutor
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that Greg DelBigio, QC, has been appointed as a Special Prosecutor to provide legal advice to the R.C.M.P. in relation to an investigation arising out of Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's recent report to government.

November 18, 2015

No Charge Approved in IIO Investigation of Fatal Accident in Abbotsford
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charge has been approved in relation to a fatal motor vehicle accident involving an off-duty member of the Abbotsford Police Department on December 26, 2014.

October 21, 2015

Crown Files Appeal of Constitutional Ruling and Sentencing Decision
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that it has filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, asking that the Court set aside a constitutional ruling in R. v. Oud, 2015 BCSC 1040 and 2015 BCSC 1754.The Branch has further asked that the sentence imposed be increased. The appeal has been filed under Court of Appeal number CA 43170 (Vancouver).

October 21, 2015

No Charge Approved in Coquitlam Arrest Involving Police Service Dog
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice, announced that no charge has been approved against a member of the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Section in relation to the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a male suspect in Coquitlam in September 2014.

October 5, 2015

Criminal Justice Branch Releases Public Education Materials: 2014/15 Annual Report and New Information Sheets
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice released its 2014/15 Annual Report. The Annual Report provides the public with information on the role of the B.C. Prosecution Service and the values that guide its work, as well as access to key operational data such as the volume of prosecution files that were approved in the 2014/15 fiscal year, and the aggregate outcomes of prosecution files that concluded in this same time frame. Specific analysis is provided in relation to impaired driving, domestic violence, child and youth victims, and peace officer involved offences.

September 30, 2015

Special Prosecutor Update
Victoria - Independent Special Prosecutor David Butcher, QC has advised the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, that completion of his final report relating to the investigation arising out of matters addressed in the Review of the Draft Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan, as well as alleged infractions of the Election Act, has taken longer than he anticipated. Mr. Butcher has advised CJB that the report will be completed as soon as is reasonably practicable, however, a specific timeline is not currently available.

September 18, 2015

No Charges Approved in IIO Investigations of Kamloops and Vancouver Arrests
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that no charges have been approved in relation to the circumstances surrounding the arrests of individuals in Kamloops and Vancouver in September and October 2014.

September 4, 2015

Crown Files Application for "High-Risk" Finding in Schoenborn Case
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "CJB"), announced today that it has filed an application under section 672.64(1) of the Criminal Code to have Allan Dwayne Schoenborn found a "high-risk accused".

July 14, 2015

Stay of Proceedings Directed in Prosecution of Delta Police Officer
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch (CJB), Ministry of Justice, announced that a stay of proceedings has been entered on a charge of Second Degree Murder previously approved against Cst. Jordan MacWilliams of the Delta Police Department. The charge related to an on duty incident on November 8, 2012, in which Mehrdad Bayrami was shot and killed during an armed standoff with police.

June 26, 2015

Crown Files Appeal in Supreme Court of Canada
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "Branch"), announced that it has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada, asking that the Court overturn the majority decision of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in R. v. Newman, 2015 BCCA 237, and restore a conviction for first degree murder.

June 25, 2015

Crown Files Appeal from Constitutional Decision
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (the "Branch"), announced that it has filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, asking that the Court set aside a constitutional decision in R. v. Boutilier, 2015 BCSC 901. The appeal has been filed under Court of Appeal number CA42891 (Vancouver).

June 18, 2015

Appointment of Special Prosecutor in Abbotsford Prosecutions
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice ("CJB") announced today that a Special Prosecutor appointed pursuant to s.7 of the Crown Counsel Act has approved charges against Ryan Plecas and Cody Green in connection with an incident that occurred in Abbotsford on December 21, 2014.

June 15, 2015

No Charges Approved in IIO Investigation of Arrest near Chilliwack
Victoria - The Criminal Justice Branch, Ministry of Justice (CJB) announced that no charges have been approved against two police officers in relation to their use of force in arresting a suspect on February 16, 2014 near Chilliwack.